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This post is sponsored by Jones Dairy Farm. All opinions are 100% mine.
Back-to-school is just around the corner for us (it starts next week!) and we’re already planning for a busier schedule of early school days, homework, after-school activities – plus everything else that comes our way this time of year!
One way that we handle this crazy schedule of ours is by making delicious, family-friendly meals that can be prepared ahead of time – including these fantastic Sausage and Apple Empanadas!
We started with Jones Dairy Farm’s delicious All Natural Maple Little Pork Sausage Links and turned them into a super-flavorful filling for our empanadas by adding chunks of granny smith apples and sweet potato, onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, and peppers – plus a wonderful mix of sage and other herbs and spices!
Then we made a very simple empanada dough and filled that with the sausage and apple filling! You can bake these sausage and apple empanadas immediately – or you can keep them in the refrigerator and bake them off later (perfect for those days when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry)!
These sausage and apple empanadas are a meal that both kids and grown-ups will love and they are filled with fantastic flavor – thanks in no small part to Jones Dairy Farm sausage!
If you’re a regular here at A Family Feast, then you probably already know that Jack and I are big fans of Jones Dairy Farms’ all-natural products! There’s a very good reason that Jones Dairy Farm products have been around for more than 125 years – their famous, delicious sausages are all-natural and made with no preservatives – so you can feel good about serving them to your family! To learn more about Jones Dairy Farm, just visit their website. Or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!
A quick bake in the oven until golden brown and these sausage and apple empanadas are done! We like to serve them with a luscious cilantro crema that is a perfect complement to the warm crusty empanada and its sweet and spicy sausage-apple filling.
For the Filling
- 1 whole dry Pasilla pepper or other mild dry pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound Jones All Natural Maple Little Pork Sausage Links, removed from their casing
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 ½ cups peeled raw sweet potato, small dice (about the size of a raisin)
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup currants
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt (use Kosher salt if sea salt is not available)
- ½ teaspoon Colman’s dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon roasted ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
- ½ cup water
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Dough
- 4 ½ cups flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cold shortening
- ¾ stick cold butter (6 tablespoons)
- ¾ cup whole milk, plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 eggs
For the Crema
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch white pepper
- Few drops Tabasco sauce
- Start by boiling enough water to cover the dry Pasilla pepper in a bowl and let it sit in hot water for ten minutes. Remove it from the water and discard the water, stem and seeds. Then with the back of a knife, scrape flesh from skin. Discard skin and the flesh removed should equal about 1 teaspoon. Set this aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium high, heat olive oil then add sausage; breaking it up with your hands as you place it in the pan. Add onions and garlic to the sausage then cook until the onions are tender and the sausage partial browned. The sausage does not have to be fully cooked through at this point.
- Add the sweet potato, diced tomato, tomato paste, currants, one teaspoon of the scraped Pasilla pepper flesh, salt, dry mustard, cumin, coriander, cilantro, sage and water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover and simmer 10 minutes covered. If it is watery, remove cover after 10 minutes and cook for a few more minutes to evaporate some liquid. Remove from heat when done.
- Peel, core and dice the apple into small pieces and place in a bowl of water that has a tablespoon of lemon juice squeezed in. Drain the apples and hold in a wrapped paper towel.
- While meat mixture is cooking prepare dough by placing flour and salt in a large bowl. With a fork or pastry cutters, cut in cold shortening and cold butter until you have coarse crumbs.
- Mix all of the milk with both eggs until well blended and reserve a quarter cup to be used to seal and to top the finished pastry dough. Pour the rest into the flour mixture and with your hands, mix and form into a ball.
- Divide the dough into 12 balls by cutting in half, then each half in half and then each into thirds to make 12 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball.
- With a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a six inch circle. (Tip: To get perfect circles, roll them slightly larger than six inches and with the lid of a canister or similar sized lid or bowl, cut into perfect circles. Our flour canister cover was the perfect size!)
- As you complete each one, set aside with a little dusting of flour so they don’t stick to each other.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Lay out all of your circles and divide the diced apple between them. Then divide the cooked filling placing over the apples and leaving dough showing all the way around.
- Using the reserved quarter cup of egg and milk, lightly brush a little on half of each circle.
- Pull up two sides to the center like a purse and pinch the wet side to the dry side starting at the top and pinching down to each side. Repeat for all twelve then go back and pinch them again to make sure there are no openings (and there will be).
- Place six each on two parchment lined sheet pans and brush the tops with the remaining egg and milk then bake for 20 minutes. If you bake both pans at once, they may take a few minutes longer. They should be baked to golden brown.
- While the empanadas are baking, make the crema by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Serve empanadas hot with the cold crema on the side.
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